Your Legal Questions Answered - How Many Holidays Am I Entitled To?

Published: 05/06/2019

With the weather warming and dreams of beach-side vacays closer to becoming a reality, many workers in the UK may be asking themselves the question - how many holiday days am I entitled to?

In this Everyday Legal article, we’ll use our general legal knowledge to answer this commonly asked question as well as other queries that often arise when it comes to work and that precious time off!

How many holiday days should I get?

Simply put, every full-time ‘worker’ in the UK should get 28 days’ holiday each year.

In other words, from the first day of employment, you have the right to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday days yearly. Pro-rata in the first year, if starting partway through the holiday year.

If you’re a part-timer, you can work out how many holiday days you are entitled to by multiplying the number of days you work each week by 5.6. For example, e.g. a worker who normally works three days per week is entitled to 16.8 days' annual leave.

For those who work five days a week, you are entitled to an additional 8 days holiday a year.

Please note though - it may not the best idea to go ahead and book a month-long Europtrip without checking with your HR department first!

Employers are allowed to include bank holidays in those 5.6 weeks. As such, there are around eight days that can potentially be deducted from your 28 days entitlement. Whether or not this is done in your workplace will be outlined in your contract of employment. Leave can also be enforced if the company, for example, is closed during the Christmas period.

Likewise, some workplaces use an ‘accruals’ system for new employees, meaning you’ll be awarded your leave in 12 pieces, with entitlement increasing at the start of each month. This practice isn’t so common anymore, however.

If you’re having trouble calculating your paid holiday entitlement, you can use the Holiday Entitlement Calculator provided by the Government here.

Can I carry over my holiday days to the next year?

The law regarding the carrying over of holidays accrued to the next year is a little complicated - but in general, you do not have the right to carry over your holidays to the next year.

If you are ill, injured or pregnant however, there may be exceptions.

Some workplaces may allow the carrying over of holiday, but it is not your right by law.

Can my employer pay me for my holiday days?

Your employer is not allowed to replace your statutory holiday days by a payment in lieu. The exception to this rule is when your employment is terminated.

When can I take my holiday days?

You will need to give due notice to your employer before taking holiday leave. Your employer has the right to reject your notice if the leave dates aren’t suitable for the company.

Note - your employer must inform you that your request has not been granted at least as many days in advance of your requested leave start date as the number of days leave you are requesting (e.g. if you are asking to take a two-week holiday, your employer must say no at least two weeks before).

I’m a freelance, a contract worker or self-employed. Am I entitled to holidays?

All ‘workers’ are entitled to paid holiday leave - full-time, part-time, contract and agency employees. The only exception is for those who are self-employed (run their own business). As you don’t have an ‘employer’, you cannot claim paid holiday leave from anybody.

There can be instances in which your employer will try to tell you that you are ‘self-employed’ when you are not, to avoid them paying you for holidays.

What should I do if my employer won’t give me my holidays?

You are entitled to paid holiday leave. If your employer is withholding holiday days from you, you should contact your union or seek legal advice.

Where should I go on holiday?

Now to the exciting stuff!

I’ve got 20-odd holiday days. Where should I visit this summer?

Obviously, the options are endless.

We recently wrote an article about places off-the-beaten-track to visit this year.

Some locations included fascinating cities in places ranging from Columbia to the USA.

Check out our article Five Places Off The Beaten Track To Visit This Summer here.

Help! I’d love to go on an exotic holiday but I don’t have the money

Why not check if you have any mis-sold PPI? You could be owed hundreds or even thousands in compensation.

You’ve got just a few months left to check if you were ever mis-sold PPI. The deadline to claim is 29th August 2019.

To check, contact our experienced financial claims team today.

About GWlegal

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If you have a legal matter you wish to discuss don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can call us on 0345 373 3737 or email us with your question.

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Content correct at time of publication.
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